Jewish and Middle Eastern Non-Jewish Populations Share a Common Pool of Y-Chromosome Biallelic Haplotypes

University of Leicester, Leiscester, England, United Kingdom
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 07/2000; 97(12):6769-74. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.100115997
Source: PubMed


Haplotypes constructed from Y-chromosome markers were used to trace the paternal origins of the Jewish Diaspora. A set of 18 biallelic polymorphisms was genotyped in 1,371 males from 29 populations, including 7 Jewish (Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Kurdish, Near Eastern, Yemenite, and Ethiopian) and 16 non-Jewish groups from similar geographic locations. The Jewish populations were characterized by a diverse set of 13 haplotypes that were also present in non-Jewish populations from Africa, Asia, and Europe. A series of analyses was performed to address whether modern Jewish Y-chromosome diversity derives mainly from a common Middle Eastern source population or from admixture with neighboring non-Jewish populations during and after the Diaspora. Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level. Admixture estimates suggested low levels of European Y-chromosome gene flow into Ashkenazi and Roman Jewish communities. A multidimensional scaling plot placed six of the seven Jewish populations in a relatively tight cluster that was interspersed with Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations, including Palestinians and Syrians. Pairwise differentiation tests further indicated that these Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations were not statistically different. The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora.

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    • "Geneticists have studied Jewish populations since the turn of the 20th century in an attempt to unravel what must be a complex system of interrelationships among Jewish communities and their non-Jewish neighbours. These studies have provided evidences for shared Middle Eastern ancestry among major Jewish Diaspora groups and variable degrees of admixture with local populations [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. Regarding the Jewish descendants in Iberia, genetic studies have shown that both Chuetas and Bragança Jews present a significant persistence of a Jewish heritage as well as signs of introgression from their host non-Jewish populations [20] [21] [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Population genetic data of 38 non-coding biallelic autosomal indels are reported for 466 individuals, representing six populations with Jewish ancestry (Ashkenazim, Mizrahim, Sephardim, North African, Chuetas and Bragança crypto-Jews). Intra-population diversity and forensic parameters values showed that this set of indels was highly informative for forensic applications in the Jewish populations studied. Genetic distance analysis demonstrated that this set of markers efficiently separates populations from different continents, but does not seem effective for molecular anthropology studies in Mediterranean region. Finally, it is important to highlight that although the genetic distances between Jewish populations were small, significant differences were observed for Chuetas and Bragança Jews, and therefore, specific databases must be used for these populations.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Forensic Science International: Genetics
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    • "The Fertile Crescent region has been considered the most probable place of origin ( Cinnioğlu et al., 2004) of haplogroup J and its two lineages, J1-M267 and J2-M172. J2-M172 is the most abundant and most widely distributed over Europe, especially along the Mediterranean basin (Semino et al., 2004) where it parallels the demic diffusion of Neolithic farmers (Underhill et al., 2001; Semino et al., 2004) or, more recently, the Phoenician and other historical, mainly maritime, expansions (Hammer et al., 2000; Di Giacomo et al., 2003; Zalloua et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: At different times during recent human evolution, northern Africa has served as a conduit for migrations from the Arabian Peninsula. Although previous researchers have investigated the possibility of the Strait of Gibraltar as a conduit of migration from North Africa to Iberia, we now revisit this issue and theorize that although the Strait of Gibraltar, at the west end of this corridor, has acted as a barrier for human dispersal into Southwest Europe, it has not provided an absolute seal to gene flow. To test this hypothesis, here we use the spatial frequency distributions, STR diversity and expansion time estimates of Y chromosome haplogroups J1-P58 and E-M81 to investigate the genetic imprints left by the Arabian and Berber expansions into the Iberian Peninsula, respectively. The data generated indicate that Arabian and Berber genetic markers are detected in Iberia. We present evidence that suggest that Iberia has received gene flow from Northwest Africa during and prior to the Islamic colonization of 711 A.D. It is interesting that the highest frequencies of Arabia and Berber markers are not found in southern Spain, where Islam remained the longest and was culturally most influential, but in Northwest Iberia, specifically Galicia. We propose that Moriscos' relocations to the north during the Reconquista, the migration of cryptic Muslims seeking refuge in a more lenient society and/or more geographic extensive pre-Islamic incursions may explain the higher frequencies and older time estimates of mutations in the north of the Peninsula. These scenarios are congruent with the higher diversities of some diagnostic makers observed in Northwest Iberia. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Gene
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    • "Haplogroup J- 12f2.1 presents a decreasing gradient from its origin toward Europe and is associated with the demic diffusion of the Neolithic farmers (Underhill et al., 2001; Semino et al., 2004) and also to more recent events, such as the Phoenician maritime migrations along the Mediterranean (Hammer et al., 2000; Di Giacomo et al., 2004; Zalloua et al., 2008). This haplogroup is referred to as being predominant in diverse referenced Jewish populations (Hammer et al., 1997, 2000; Nebel et al., 2001; Adams et al., 2008), reaching in Sephardic Jews, "
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    ABSTRACT: The first documents mentioning Jewish people in Iberia are from the Visigothic period. It was also in this period that the first documented anti-Judaic persecution took place. Other episodes of persecution would happen again and again during the long troubled history of the Jewish people in Iberia and culminated with the Decrees of Expulsion and the establishment of the Inquisition: some Jews converted to Catholicism while others resisted and were forcedly baptized, becoming the first Iberian Crypto-Jews. In the 18th century the official discrimination and persecution carried out by the Inquisition ended and several Jewish communities emerged in Portugal. From a populational genetics point of view, the worldwide Diaspora of contemporary Jewish communities has been intensely studied. Nevertheless, very little information is available concerning Sephardic and Iberian Crypto-Jewish descendants. Data from the Iberian Peninsula, the original geographic source of Sephardic Jews, is limited to two populations in Portugal, Belmonte, and Bragança district, and the Chueta community from Mallorca. Belmonte was the first Jewish community studied for uniparental markers. The construction of a reference model for the history of the Portuguese Jewish communities, in which the genetic and classical historical data interplay dynamically, is still ongoing. Recently an enlarged sample covering a wide region in the Northeast Portugal was undertaken, allowing the genetic profiling of male and female lineages. A Jewish specific shared female lineage (HV0b) was detected between the community of Belmonte and Bragança. In contrast to what was previously described as a hallmark of the Portuguese Jews, an unexpectedly high polymorphism of lineages was found in Bragança, showing a surprising resistance to the erosion of genetic diversity typical of small-sized isolate populations, as well as signs of admixture with the Portuguese host population.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Frontiers in Genetics
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